WATERVILLE — The high school baseball season is just starting, but Winslow High School’s Dylan Hapworth is already looking at the long term implications of Wednesday’s 10-9 win over rival Waterville.

“It is the first game of the season, but it is Waterville. They’ll be worth some big (Heal) points near the end of the season,” Hapworth said.

It was a game that looked every bit an early season contest, with teams that have seen more time in a gym than on a diamond. The six pitchers used combined for 17 walks (two intentional) and six hit batters, and it wasn’t until the hard-throwing Hapworth came on in relief for the Black Raiders with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the tying run on second base was this one decided.

Winslow scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to break open a close game and take a 10-4 lead. Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe let starter Jake Trask take the mound for the bottom of the seventh, but after a single, walk, error and a walk to Cody Lyons to drive in a run, Wolfe went to Nathan Gagnon.

Gagnon got an RBI groundout from Corey Huerfano, and the Black Raiders intentionally walked Dan Pooler to load the bases. When Cam Gardiner and Cody Pellerin were hit by pitches in back-to-back at bats, Winslow’s lead was suddenly 10-8, and Wolfe went to Hapworth.

“I felt confident bringing him in for the last two outs, if that’s how it has to go,” Wolfe said.

With two outs, AJ Godin hit an infield single to cut Waterville’s deficit to one run, but Hapworth got a strikeout to end the game.

Each team squandered chances, the Black Raiders early and the Purple Panthers late. Winslow left 10 men on base, six coming in the first three innings. Waterville stranded 12 runners, eight in the final three innings.

“We didn’t get the big hit, and we had a couple shots there to shut them down,” Waterville coach Don Sawyer said. “Defensively, we broke down. We paid for it.”

A pair of Waterville errors in the top of the seventh inning led to five unearned runs for the Black Raiders. Hapworth (3 for 4) drove in his third run of the game with a two-out single, and Alex Berard followed with a two-run single for a 10-4 cushion. Junior Dalton Wood started and went five innings for the Panthers, and left with a 4-3 lead. Seniors Gardiner and Pooler pitched the last two innings for Waterville, and their struggles with control (two walks and a hit batter) combined with errors helped Winslow take the lead.

“They know how to throw strikes. We just weren’t getting it done. We were fighting behind (in the count) the whole time, and (Winslow’s) good enough to make you pay for the mistakes we made,” Sawyer said.

Waterville scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead. Huerfano scored on a wild pitch, Godin drove in a run with a single, and Alex Mayheux plated two runs with a single. Winslow answered with three runs in the top of the fourth, on RBI singles by Dameron Rodrigue and Hapworth. The Black Raiders took the lead for good on a Hapworth sacrifice fly to center in the sixth.

“I felt like we were on the edge of scoring in the first few innings. We got guys on, we just couldn’t get the big hit, that two out hit that we needed. We finally did in the middle of the game,” Wolfe said.

Pooler and Godin each scored two runs for Waterville. Ben Smith scored three runs for the Black Raiders.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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